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Posts Tagged ‘John Gibson art’

National Poetry Month 2018

Heron in Flight by John Gibson

After Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. 

 

I.

Taking flight,
one heron, great and blue,
lifts on kite-wings.

II.

At daybreak, he stalks
early risers
stealthily staring
at the water’s surface.

III.

The heron looks long
at his own reflection,
beauty knows beauty.

IV.

Straight as an arrow on a hunt
for its mark, heron’s beak
pierces the sky.

V.

Sun beams dance on waves
winking at heron’s stature,
inviting his participation
in the day.

VI.

My totem, Heron,
teach me
your lessons of grace.

VII.

As evening falls, heron
circles back
to tell me good night.

VIII.

Times with heron
I value silence
and know God.

IX.

Heron’s squawk
scrapes on Goose’s last nerve.
A cacophony on courthouse steps.

X.

At the sight of heron flying,
barely skimming water’s surface,
even playful children
stop and admire.

XI.

Heron lifts his wing
to preen like an awkward teen
crumples over his tall body
to tie his shoelace.

XII.

A storm raged during the night,
heron stood still
never losing his grip
on the fallen log.

XIII.

I haven’t seen Heron for days.
He will return. He may not return.
The light on the lake fades.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

If you are interested in joining a photo-poetry exchange I am hosting, click here.

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National Poetry Month 2018

 

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

My dog lies heavy as the storm moves through.
Worry keeps him close.
Rain streaks the window with tears.
We are safe inside.

Infinite line of tangled roots and vines,
God’s garden grows wild.
Endless labyrinth of life to life.
We are safe inside.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

Commentary: In this poem, I began with what was happening in the moment.  A storm was pounding, and my dog was afraid.  I held him on my lap.  As he relaxed, much like an infant, he became heavier on my lap.  I then moved to the drawing for interpretation.  I saw the white lines as the lines of connection of humanity.  When I looked for a synonym for connection, I found labyrinth which alliterated with life to life.

From PoemCrazy #25: “there may be a measurable field of energy for the buzz of life around moments and things.  Poems are alive this way. When a poem comes to me I have to tend to it like a small fish, a possum, a snake or a puppy, depending on the poem.  It’s often kicking and unruly.”

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National Poetry Month 2018

Poetry Friday round-up is with Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge.

 

Today the Kidlitosphere is celebrating Lee Bennett Hopkins’ 80th birthday.  Click the Poetry Friday button to go to Robyn Hood Black’s site to see more posts for this celebration. How fun to light up cyberspace with candles and confetti!

 

Lee Bennett Hopkins is well known as an anthologist.  He collects the best children poets and puts them together in unique ways.  His most recent collection is World Make Way. 

World Make Way

This book is a collection of ekphrastic poetry, poetry about art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The book opens with the following quote:

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

Leonardo da Vinci

This month I’ve been writing poems about my father’s art and this quote speaks to what I believe to be true;  My father’s art is poetry that is seen.

Lee’s poetry collections are a canvas for poets, a place to find words that can be felt rather than seen.  To write my poem today, I have chosen a line from Early Evening by Charles Ghinga.

Steamboat by John Gibson

 

Coming Home

We are coming home
stretched across a canvas of time
waiting for steam to rise

into still humid air.
We carry a load
of dreams from far

away where seas meet rivers.
We are born of the river,
her muddy banks birthed

strength to carry us
through toil and trouble
all the way home.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

 

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National Poetry Month 2018

 

Riverbank

 

Riverbank (Upside down)

A wild forest lives
in the reflections
on Riverbank.
A forest of trees to swim in,
a bouquet of trees,
and the moon there.
See it winking at you?
The moon draws us into
where a wild forest lives.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018


PoemCrazy #24: “I sometimes think poems come from electricity in the air, a hum inside, impulses we can feel in our body…Stand on your head for as long as possible. Notice details upside down…Do anything new.” (p. 88, 90)

With my students, I am presenting Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s daily poetry prompt on her site The Poem Farm.  Yesterday we wrote using circular structure.  This poem uses that structure because I felt the echo worked well with looking at the drawing upside down.

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National Poetry Month 2018

 

After Vespers by John Gibson

 

The mist calls them forth
from Vespers into evening.

Prayers echo like bells,
rising like incense before them.

Brother Anselm hums Hodie
holding tones with his breath.

Together they pray, again and again
invoking blessings, psalms, forgiveness

for a world in peril, a world outside the mist,
a world released from her sins.

Now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace.

Commentary:
This drawing is set at St. Joseph’s Abbey near Covington, LA. where my father’s best childhood friend, Billy, was a Benedictine monk.  Brother Anselm, as he was named in the Abbey, is the short one in the drawing. I remember fondly visiting him there.  He was a musician, organist and cantor, so I can imagine him humming after the service.  He also had a hilarious, ironic wit that I couldn’t capture in this poem.  Brother Anselm died a few years ago, but his spirit lives on in the music of St. Joseph’s Abbey.

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National Poetry Month 2018

Railway Station

This week my students and I read an article in the Scope Scholastic magazine about the Kindertransport.  Jewish families paid for their children to board a train to Great Britain where a group of people welcomed and fostered these children escaping the dangers in Germany in 1939. The article focused on the story of one girl, Lore. For some of my students, this was their first exposure to the horrors of the Holocaust.  They became fascinated and touched by the terror these children had to go through.

Amy VanDerwater is writing a poem everyday on her blog and featuring one of the methods in her book Poems are Teachers.  I am using this prompt daily.  Added bonus: my students are learning about Orion because Amy is writing about one topic, Orion, 30 ways.

On day 2, she used story structure.  I thought this prompt paired well as a response to the Scope article.  As a follow up, my students created videos in Animoto with their poems.

Today, I am sharing my poem as well as a powerful video from my student, Erin.

Kindertransport

Alone with a suitcase,
a photograph,
an accordion,
Lore waited at the station
to be saved.

Hitler fanned the flames of hatred.
Terror washed over her.
Why did her parents send her away?
To be saved.

The only way they knew how,
they sent her away
to live with strangers
to learn a new language,
to find new friends,

to be saved.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

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